Validity of seafarers’ certificates of competency to be re-extended
The validity of seafarers’ fixed-term certificates of competency and of proficiency will be extended due to the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic. The derogation permitting a special dispensation from certificates of proficiency required on a vessel will also be extended.
The derogations will be temporary. The validity of the certificates was extended for the first time in June 2020.
On 25 March 2021, the Government proposed that the relevant bills be passed. The President of the Republic is expected to approve the bills on 26 March 2021.
The certificates of competency and certificates of proficiency expiring by no later than 30 June 2021 will continue to be valid without further application for six months following their original dates of expiration. In the same period, the Transport and Communications Agency may, on application by the ship manager, grant an exemption from the requirement on certificates of proficiency. As a result, the certificates will expire by 31 December 2021.
In this context, the required qualifications for physicians operating in the maritime and railway sectors will be amended in the Act on Transport Services. Following the clarification in the Act, it will be more evident that individuals, whose rights to practice as a physician have been limited in a manner that restricts service as a railway or maritime physician, do not meet the required qualifications.
The Acts will enter into force on 29 March 2021. Section 109 a of the Transport Services Act and subsection 4 of section 13 of the Act on Ships’ Crews and the Safety Management of Ships will remain in force until 30 June 2021.
Katja Peltola, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 530 2175